Horses are amazing creatures, and however long you have been riding for, there are some horse facts and figures that still take us by surprise

25 incredible horse facts

1. Horses have around 205 bones in their skeleton.

2. They have bigger eyes than any other mammal that lives on land.

3. Horses can sleep both lying down and standing up thanks to a special locking system in their legs.

4. Male horses have 40 teeth when they are adults (usually from around five-years-old) — when they are born, they have baby teeth which are then gradually pushed out by adult teeth as they get older

5. Female horses have 36 teeth, and their teeth grow in the same way as male horse’s teeth

6. Horses can’t vomit due to them having a strong band of muscles around their esophagus. This band is so strong that a horse’s stomach would burst before it would vomit.

7. Horses produce approximately 10 gallons of saliva a day.

8. The tallest horse on record was a Shire named Sampson. He was 21.2hh (7 feet, 2 inches) tall

9. Estimates suggest that there are around 60 million horses in the world.

10. A horse’s brain weighs around 623g, half the weight of a human brain.

11. Horses don’t have collarbones.

12. Horses’ shoulders are held to the rest of their skeleton via a sling of muscles and ligaments.

13. When foals are born, their hooves are covered with soft tissue to stop them damaging their mother’s birth canal and uterus. Names for this tissue include fairy slippers, golden hooves, foal slipper, leaves, gills, and fingers.

14. The earliest member of the horse family was the Eohippus, dating back 55 million years.

15. Horses drink at least five gallons of water each day.

16. While humans have just three ear muscles, horses have 10.

17. A horse’s heart typically weighs between 4kg and 4.5kg and is about the size of a basketball.

18. Horses cannot breathe through their mouth, only through their nose.

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19. Horses usually gallop at around 27 mph but the fastest recorded sprinting speed of a horse was 55 mph.

20. Equinophobia is the fear of horses.

21. On average, most domesticated horses live until they are around 25-30-years-old.

22. There are around 350 breeds and types of horses around the world.

23. Most of the white horses that you see were actually a much darker colour at birth and gradually turn white. These ‘white’ horses may start out as bay, chestnut, or almost black. Of course, these horses aren’t actually called white, but grey…

24. The world’s smallest horse breed is the Falabella which ranges between 38-76 cm tall.

25. A horse’s range of vision is 350 degrees with two small blind spots, one directly in front and one directly behind them.

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday

This week’s issue (17 May 2018) features a full report from Royal Windsor Horse Show, including all the showing, showjumping and dressage action. We go behind the scenes with the Household Cavalry, plus have an exclusive interview with Irish eventer Padraig McCarthy